My love of history began as a child growing up on the family farm. Our family roots run deep. My father's family has lived in York County Maine for at least eight generations. My mother's family tree traces straight back to England and they lived on the same farm in western York County Maine for seven generations. I now live on the farm that my father and grandfather owned before me.
Growing up we had large vegetable gardens, grew our own meat and cut firewood down back on the woodlot. It seems as though my brother and I grew up with hammers in our hands. From building forts in the top of the old barn, to building fence, to helping Dad nail a new roof on the house, we had our share of smashed thumbs and broken handles. We hung our own handles sitting on a shave horse using an old draw shave and my grandfather's combo spoke shave.
In 1979 I found the book "Edge of the Anvil" by Jack Andrews in a local bookstore. The book is an introduction to blacksmithing and the binding has long since broken down from being read over and over. From that point on I gained a greater appreciation of the tools we used every day on the farm. My tool and book collection began to grow but in the days before Google I was unable to locate a blacksmith to train with.
After graduating from the University of Maine College of Forestry, I was working for a local paper mill as a landowner assistance forester and was asked to meet with a landowner in Brownfield Maine. After touring the woodlot and receiving a particularly grueling grilling about tree diseases and the breeding habits of white pine trees, Ed Grove revealed that he had been a graduate of the University of Maine College of Forestry some thirty five years earlier. Ed had a background in blacksmithing and after working for several years in the wood industry he went full time into farrier work and blacksmithing. We hitched up well together and in 1991 I trained with Ed. That spring I built my own shop and since then I have operated a custom blacksmithing business and a forestry consulting/logging business at the same time.
My business focus now is producing hand forged outdoor cooking equipment. From carbon steel frying pans to marshmallow forks, I love to discover the forging processes required to recreate these items. Prior to the industrial revolution the blacksmith was integral to everyday life. From the housewife's spatula and spoon, to the woodsman's axe, to the stone cutter's feathers and wedges, everyone needed the blacksmith to make and repair tools.
Joel F. Tripp
Have fun. We only get one chance at this ride so have a good time
JOEL F. TRIPP, OWNER